May is mental health awareness month and celebrities are more open now than ever before about their struggles and what they did to overcome obstacles that seemed to get in their way. It’s easy to look at a person of circumstance and believe that they’ve had it easy, that they’re surrounded by wealth or popularity or lavishness and that they aren’t aware of what it means to suffer.
However, that isn’t true. Sometimes, a life of circumstance is incredibly lonely and it only makes talking about mental health issues harder. Luckily, people are trying to change the stigma around mental health issues and two more celebrities have spoken out recently about their own journeys.
Michael Phelps and Allison Schmit recently spoke to HuffPost about their struggles with mental health and how therapy helped them tremendously. They also helped one another over the years and their relationship became stronger because of it.
Michael, on going to therapy, had this to say.
‘Every time that I came out of that office, I felt so much better. I was so much more relieved just talking…it didn’t matter what I was talking about. I was getting it out and I was communicating.’
Allison credits Michael with giving her the ‘moment’ where she realized it was time to get help. Not just that it was time, but that it was okay to not be okay.
Allison explained how the small exchange went, and how it helped her. “He said to me, ‘I can tell there is something wrong. I don’t know what it is. I’m here for you. I can help you or I can find someone else to help you.’”
She also says that the way they’re taught to keep going ‘in the pool’ is great, but it doesn’t work in every single aspect of your life.
‘We’re taught to persevere. It works in the pool: if you don’t get a time you want, swim faster. But life is a lot bigger than that.‘
The pair agreed that when you’re dealing with tough times and struggling with feeling okay that asking for help is necessary. Sometimes, the problems that you experience have the ability to knock your world off track and there’s nothing wrong with asking for or accepting help to get it back on track.
You can learn more about mental health awareness month here.
‘…but I knew him’